Monday, November 26, 2012

Marchers hold 'people's meeting' next to Dataran

Marchers hold 'people's meeting' next to Dataran
 
Marchers of Himpunan Hijau are holding a 'people's meeting' this morning next to the cordoned-off Dataran Merdeka to discuss three resolutions calling for the closure of the Lynas rare earth plant in Gebeng, Pahang.

NONESome 200 participants of the 13-day Green March from Kuantan spent the night near the iconic square yesterday after a 300km long march, sleeping on the road just in front of the barricade set up by the police to stop them from entering the square.

This morning they were joined by some 150 supporters.

Although exhausted, they were in high spirits and seen chit-chatting with one another while others were having breakfast.

Himpunan Hijau publicity chief Lee Chean Chung said a 'people's meeting' was to pass three resolutions which were first raised at the mammoth Himpunan Hijau 2.0 rally in Kuantan on Feb 26 this year.

NONE"We also hope that MPs will come to support us," he said. Among parliamentarians seen with the group this morning include DAP leader Lim Kit Siang.
At 9.15am, Zamri Zanal, one of the participants who completed the long march from Kuantan, read out the three resolutions.

Other than calling the government to stop Lynas, the resolutions demanded for closure or re-evaluation of all hazardous projects in Malaysia including the gold mine in Bukit Koman, Pahang, the high-tension electrical tower in Rawang, Selangor, and the refinery and petrochemical integrated development project (Rapid) in Pengerang, Johor.

They also demanded an end to the land grab of Orang Asli villages.

NONEMore than a dozen of MPs and state assemblypersons, all from the opposition, sat together with the marchers on the road and pledged to support the resolutions.

They include Lim Kit Siang (Ipoh Timor MP), William Leong (Selayang MP), Tan Kok Wai (Cheras MP), Fong Po Kuan (Batu Gajah MP), Dr D Jeyakumar (Sungai Siput MP), Chong Eng (Bukit Mertajam MP), Liew Chin Tong (Bukit Bendera MP), Nga Kor Ming (Taiping MP), Loh Gwo Bourne (Kelana Jaya MP), Fong Kui Lun (Bukit Bintang MP), Sim Tong Lim (Kota Melaka MP), Ronnie Liu (Pandamaran assemblyperson), Ng Wei Aik (Komtar assemblyperson) and Khoo Poay Tiong (Ayer Keroh assemblyperson).
Some tension last night

According to Lee, the 'long march' participants were jubilant although many were exhausted and suffering from muscle pains.

NONENONE"We had a music performance last night and played the guitar until 2am. We were in a happy mood, celebrating (the success of Green March)," he told Malaysiakini when met at Dataran Merdeka this morning.

Lee revealed that there was a brief moment of tension at around 1am when some 70 police officers came in three buses while the participants were enjoying the music performance.

"We thought the police were going to take action against us. They walked into the restricted area and had a 20-minute briefing.

"We held a dozen of the national flags (to deter the police)," he said.

However, it turned out to be a false alarm as the men in blue were deployed to guard the restricted area.

Yesterday the marchers from Kuantan were joined by some 20,000 people when they reached the city centre after a grueling 13-day walk.

NONEFollowing the closure of Dataran Merdeka by the police and Kuala Lumpur City Hall, Himpunan Hijau chief Wong Tack called on supporters not to enter the square by force but gather peacefully beside the barricade.

NONEThey called on Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, who could be attending the current Parliament session just some 1km away today, to come to the square and listen to their pleas to stop the Lynas rare earth refinery.

Last night the participants held mini-ceramahs and mini-concerts beside the barricade until midnight under the careful watch of hundreds of police officers, who however did not interfere.

Additional reporting Ahmad Fadli KC

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